Asking the experts: Have colours become more important in these special times?

Severin works in the field of interior, product, and set design, styling, creative direction, content production, architectural photography, and more. As colour is always her main focus, she dares to call herself a colourist — you might know her as @teklan and she was recently listed as one of the most influential in the design industry by German AD — and runs her own studio since 2015.

Charlie Cosby joined Farrow & Ball at the tender age of 23 — ”I was like a kid in a sweet shop full of colours and patterns” — and has spent the last twelve years growing up with the brand.

With both working with it, it might seem unsurprising that they both do believe that colours can make life easier. Even more so now, when we’re spending more time at home and perhaps experience a rough period.

”Colour is light, and light is energy and energy is life,” as the colourist and alchemist Margrethe Odgaard once said. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Nuances are our natural heritage and studies are showing we still today feel most comfortable in those environments, Tekla Evelina Severin shares.

— During these times of turmoil, I think everyone yearns for the comfort that stronger, more nostalgic colours can bring to our homes. Putting a bit of thought into the colours we use in our homes can help us express ourselves, whether it’s to convey a sense of ease and familiarity or to create uniquely dramatic rooms with bolder ones, says Charlie Cosby, continuing,

— There’s also something in the way that certain colours can make us feel. If you want to feel grounded and comforted, as so many of us do right now, then something rich and warm or a deep and earthy colour from the natural world can have the desired effect. For a very soothing space, which you can relax in at the end of a long and stressful day, you could try something softer and paler.

Would you say that colours and how we should use them to affect our lives have become increasingly important? If so, how?

— I would say that, as many of us are spending much more time than usual at home, the colours we choose to surround ourselves with are probably more important than they’ve ever been. We know from colour psychology that certain shades tend to make us feel a certain way but, on an even more basic level than that, I think being surrounded by colours you truly love and spending time in rooms that make you feel happy, or comforted, or relaxed, or upbeat — depending on what you need — can have an enormous impact on your wellbeing, says Cosby.

Tekla Evelina Severin’s best tips for introducing colour to people’s mindset and homes is to think of colour as a dialogue.

— Colour is never absolute always relative, she shares. Think of colour like a wholeness, to just add an accent like a cushion or a flowerpot in a neutral white or grey space, just make that item pop. High contrasts and small accents can absolutely be fun, but it isn’t the best way if you want to surround yourself with colour. Instead, think of what mood and function you want to add to the specific room. And then think space and surfaces; floors, walls, curtains, and even ceilings — that’s what you need to create a wholeness of colour.

For Stockholm Design Week, Severin’s teamed up with Norwegian Heymat and was asked to interpret Kristine Five Melvear’s pattern Mix from 2016 — one of the brand’s first launched and most appreciated rugs.

— I wanted to create something mediative, yet sparkling, and inspired by gemstones, the Mediterranean, and 70’s colour schemes. I ended up with these set of what I call earthy pastels giving exactly this, I hope — and believe, she says.

This spring, Farrow & Ball launches The Nordic Edit together with Danish colour, textile, and wallpaper company Tapet-Cafe.

— It’s a selection of 24 colours from our current collection and Archive, which have been hand-picked by the brilliant Tapet-Cafe owner Jannik Martensen-Larsen. The goal of the edit was to capture the true colours of Scandinavia — not just whites and greys, but really bold, intense, striking colours that will encourage us out of our comfort zones, Charlie Cosby tells, continuing,

— There’s so much to be inspired by, whether it’s the red rooves in Copenhagen’s old town, or the greenery at Dyrehaven, or contemporary Scandinavian art, and I think Jannik’s done a fantastic job of capturing that variety in the colours he’s chosen. It’s a real invitation to be confident and creative with colour, and maybe to try out some fun new combinations that you hadn’t considered before. The beauty of the edit is that Tapet-Cafe has captured something for every home and personality. There are the more neutral shades, such as Strong White and Light Blue, for those who prefer a gentler scheme, and there are the bolder colours, including Mere Green and Chinese Blue, for those who prefer a deeper palette. All the colours will suit any home from a new-build to a Victorian terrace!


”Mo i Rana has that small-town charm but still has something for everyone”

Norwegian design brand Heymat produces high-quality, beautiful doormats that keep the elements outside. Founded by Sonja Djønne, who lives in the north of Norway, the mats were made after she realized that industrial office mats had fantastic functionality for her needs at home, but didn’t look very nice.

Bringing together form and function, Djønne created Heymat and regularly partners with artists and designers to create unique, colourful, and visually interesting doormats that liven up any threshold while making sure your floors stay clean.

My favourite thing that makes me proud of Mo i Rana: 

There are so many things to be proud of. Mo i Rana has that small-town charm, but at the same time, it has something for everyone. The people here are wonderful at lifting up local ventures, it kind of feels like we are one big family. Another one of my favourite things is probably how close we are to nature. The town is surrounded by mountains and fjords.

My favourite weekend routine: 

Weekends are all about spending time with friends and family. I always start my weekends with a long breakfast and some coffee, followed by a few hours outside — be it skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. To top it off we love having friends over for dinner, nights filled with laughter and good food.

My favourite cultural spot:

We have a local statue called “Havmannen” on Moholmen, it is located in the ocean and can be seen from a long promenade that follows the shoreline. It’s a popular spot for locals, so we usually bump into friends and get to catch up.

Havmannen (The sea man)

My favourite place for dining out:

Without a doubt Til Elise. With world-class chefs, they use local products from surrounding farms. I guess I wouldn’t call it ‘dining out’, but a culinary experience. People travel from out of town just to try their food.

My favourite place for a creative or business meeting:

There’s a new coffee-place that seems to be quite popular for this purpose is Munin Coffee.

My favourite breakfast place:

My favourite breakfast place is outside in nature. Tjuvtrappa, a 30-minute hike right outside of town is my go-to. With some coffee, a sandwich and a view of the city it’s a perfect way to start my day.

My favourite city escape:

Along the coast of Helgeland there are plenty of places to escape. Herøy and Lovund are some of my favourites.

My favourite local entrepreneur or creative I want to promote:

Håkon Skog Erlandsen, a local artist and adventurer. He is aiming to be the first to play a concert on top of the seven summits and has already climbed Mount Everest. He plays a lot of local concerts and does a great job of showing off our beautiful nature in his work.

My favourite hotel for a staycation:

Lovund Hotell.

My favourite route for a run or walk: 

It’s impossible to choose only one. We have so many amazing spots all over and surrounding the city. If I wanted I could pick a new route every day for an entire year. But Klokkerhagen is definitely a local favourite.

Lovund Hotell.

My favourite place for fashion:

Loe, a clothing store we’ve had in town since the 1950s.

My favourite space for great design: 

iHus Studio.

My favourite local media:

Ingrid Eroy and Erlend Grønning Instagram. Ingrid captures the charming life in northern Norway, while Erlend shows off our beautiful nature.

My favourite thing at home: 

My large round dining table. There’s always room for one more.

Herøy. Photo: Jonas Berglund